The Husband is no pushover.
I have seen him face down crises calmly and stand his ground respectfully in the face of men who might push him to make decisions that he knew would lead to fatalities or less serious (but still very serious) consequences.
The Daughter Driving
Yet, when he woke up one Tuesday morning to the knowledge that The Daughter had left house at 6 am, and driven herself to university, he became a nervous wreck. He was so nervous that he came back to bed, rubbed his face miserably in his pillow and moaned, "She is driving all by herself. Oh... nooooooo... she is driving by herself in the dark." I swear he was making sounds like a manly puppy in pain.
"Why don't you ever tell her how worried you are?" said I.
He responded with yet more manly puppy sounds.
The Daughter's Old Age
Next, I dropped in on a friend's elderly parents. The said friend is based in Texas and his octogenarian parents live in Bukit Batok. One was wheelchair/bed bound. The other could only shuffle his feet forwards 10cm at a time. One was barely lucid. The other was lucid enough but much given to the reminiscences of youth. I was quite sad after the visit to see how the years had ravaged these 2 people who must once have been young, vibrant and imbued with the power and potential of youth. I came home and shared with The Husband my thoughts about how sad it is to grow old without family nearby.
The Husband's first thought was NOT for himself and his old age. He straightaway gave me clipped instructions to talk to The Daughter. "It is important for her to marry and have children, or she may end up like that," said he. I took a sideways glance at him. He wore a worried frown.
"Why don't you tell her yourself?" said I.
"No, you tell her. That is what Mommies do," said he, sounding like I was trying to shirk my maternal duties.
A Pair of Jeans
Coming out of a wedding, I dragged The Husband on a quick tour of the shops. We passed by a window with a mannequin in faded jeans. The jeans had raggedy tears all over.
The Husband: Look! What a nice pair of jeans?
Me: I am too fat to wear those.
The Husband: My daughter might like them.
Me: Would you like me to buy them for her?
The Husband: Do you think she would like them?
Me *eyes rolling*: I don't know! Why don't you ask her yourself?
The Husband: Never mind.
The Husband again asked me to be a Human Email Device. This time, I was to propose to The Daughter to undergo surgery to remove sweat glands in the armpits. His point was that if ladies smelled as bad as The Daughter sometimes did, she would attract no boys... ergo, no husband... ergo, no kids.... ergo, The Daughter will die a lonely old woman, the prospect of which will lead to even more manly puppy sounds if it ever came true.
Me: I don't think she smells bad.
The Husband: Sometimes, she does. Just go and suggest it to her, won't you?
So, I did that. I was getting rather fed up with being the Human Email Device so I told The Daughter to go up to her Dad and let him know why she sometimes smells bad when they hang out together. You see, there never is time to bathe when they are out together doing manual labour at the JB house.
The Daughter rushed downstairs after their chat, complaining, "Mom! It was sooooooo awkward! I was telling him about my B.O. and all he did was grunt and stare at his computer screen. That is the last time I am going to have a chat like that with him! YOU tell him next time!"